If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Street punks, sleek cars, jazz, cigarettes in every other persons' mouth. Welcome to the world of LA Noire. X-Box 360 version.
This game is best described as the other side of Mafia II. Let me start off by saying I like this game but I was very disappointed by it at the same time.
I know its petty of me but I was hoping for a cop version of Red Dead Redemption or GTA IV. What I got instead was a companion piece to Mafia II. While still a good game it was lacking in some respects I wanted. First off, one reason I like those games better is because the huge world they inhabit is explorable. The world of LA Noire is a huge and detailed open world. Your time in it however is constantly spent going from point a to b. Interview this person, go to this location. There is no break in between cases where you can go explore and watch the city. As Inspector Gadget says, "I'm always on duty!" Red Dead and GTA IV give you locations and people you need to talk to before you start missions. This game has you starting missions, working your way through them, solving the case, then starts you up right away. While I can't exactly say it's a bad thing, it's not what I expected. Like I said before it's a good game, just different. I can not stress this enough when I say it is NOT like GTA IV or Red Dead Redemption. I don't like it as much as either of those but it is still a good game.
Looky-loos are the WORST.
Lets talk about the graphics. This game has been in development for years and you can tell. You know how games that have been worked on for years and years often have little tells? Tells that stand out as something that seems like it came from a different time in gaming. This game has a few of those. Nothing really worth losing sleep over but I noticed a few things continually poking at me. First and foremost is the audio quality for the voice-overs. They are staticky. They have white noise with them. A few years ago you wouldn't even notice but in this day and age it sometimes sticks out like a sore thumb. With all the voice actors in this game you are bound to have a few that aren't up to par. For the most part in this game they are bit characters you only talk to once then you're out. Not a big deal but it sometimes provides some funny pauses that you can't help but smile at. Now this next part may be a bit controversial. They used a new type of facial mapping in this game to allow you, as a detective, to read peoples' faces. First off, it's smooth and worked great. The flip side to this however is that the character bodies are ... rigid. They move with a certain robotic style. This makes the fluidity of the face and heads stand out awkwardly. It ends up looking like their bodies are standing still while their heads are jiggling on top of their necks. The character's faces also look like wet clay.
Thankfully there is way more good than bad. On paper it may seem like the bad should out weigh the good but in my opinion it doesn't. What really makes this game worth playing are the cases you get. Collecting evidence, examining crime scenes, and interviewing people all over the city make this game incredibly fun and compelling. Sometimes the crimes are easy to solve and you already know who did it half way through. Sometimes it leaves you guessing almost up till the end. These cases and your partners make this game very stimulating. It makes you want to keep going until you bring the scum of 1940's LA to justice. The game has a good cast of characters, including a religious irishman who is in charge of the Homicide desk. Everytime he is on I can't help but listen to him, waiting for him to rant about some sword of justice coming down on the heads of the unworthy.
"Homicide men are the right hand of God."
This game is a good buy for anyone who likes this kind of stuff. While not as good as GTA IV or Red Dead I think it is plenty worthy to stand next to them.
I give this game 4 out of 5
Written by LempiElinika (AKA Kevin Mason)
Edited by Sarah Lawhorne